Jakob Ebrey Photography

Just over a week remains until the third and fourth rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent and if the season-opener at Donington Park three weeks ago was anything to go by, expect the unexpected.

The first event of the 2011 season offered some fantastic racing and a tremendous grid of more than 20 cars. At Brands Hatch, on 14th/15th May, the line-up will be just as strong and as is always the case at the short 1.2-mile track, qualifying will be of utmost importance.

MTech Lite’s James Thorp (Evesham, Gloucestershire) heads the standings by a healthy 13 points after taking a maiden championship race victory and an excellent second place at Donington. His closest pursuer is Steven Durrant (Oxford), the Basildon-born racer having delivered a career best effort three weeks ago but looking to go even better at Brands.

The RPD motorsport driver achieved a tremendous podium with third place in round one and then backed it up with one of the drives of the weekend in round two – scything his way through from 15th on the grid into fourth at the finish.

Fortec Motorsport’s Archie Hamilton (Hook, Hampshire) will arrive at Brands Hatch third in the points table, just four adrift of Durrant and the same number ahead of team-mate and series rookie Kieran Vernon (West Chiltington, West Sussex) – both having made it onto the podium at Donington.

Josh Webster (Stowmarket, Suffolk) secured a tremendous win during round one, from the second row of the grid, but the 2010 Winter Series Champion wasn’t able to add to his tally in the second encounter after his car ground to a halt on the 13th lap as he exited Redgate and Hollywood.

Dino Zamparelli (Bristol) is fifth in the standings, one place ahead of Webster, and although a solid haul of points was taken from Donington by the former category race winner, the weekend wasn’t all he wanted. He’ll be aiming to put his Antel Motorsport-run FR 2.0 on the podium at Brands.

In addition to Basildon racer Durrant and Sussex driver Vernon, further local interest will come from Raoul Owens (London) and Howard Fuller (Worcester Park, Kingston-upon-Thames) while Russian newcomer Ivan Taranov bases himself in Nazeing, Essex.

Qualifying for round three of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship is scheduled to get underway at 09.00 on Saturday, 14th May, with the round four session following at 12.25. On Sunday, 15th May, the opening race will begin at 11.30 with the second encounter starting at 16.35.

Along with headline sponsor Protyre, the championship is additionally supported by ELF, Michelin and NGK Spark Plugs.

Provisional 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Points (after Rd2):
1st – James Thorp / MTech Lite  60pts
2nd – Steven Durrant / RPD Motorsport 47pts
3rd – Archie Hamilton / Fortec Motorsport 43pts 
4th – Kieran Vernon / Fortec Motorsport 39pts
5th – Dino Zamparelli / Antel Motorsport 38pts
6th – Josh Webster / Fortec Motorsport 34pts